California Educator

May / June 2016

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A F T E R A L O N G , stressful day at school, there's nothing better than coming home to — unconditional love. Your pet is so darn happy to see you and spend time with you that life is brighter and better. Pets, in fact, are good for you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preven- tion, in addition to providing companionship, pets can lower your blood pressure, elevate your mood, and often help you get a little exercise (see sidebar). So it was no surprise that when we put out a call for photos of Fido and Fluffy, you responded with great enthusiasm. So much so that we were stumped: We learned that it's waaaay too hard to judge which pet pix are cutest, or most deserving, or most artfully shot. In the end, it came down to the extra points we awarded for showing your animal friends with the Educator or, in the case of Karen Kemp, while wearing team colors. Each of our three winners receives a gift card for $50 to purchase school supplies. Your Pet, Your Health Pets can decrease: • Your blood pressure. • Your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. • Feelings of loneliness. Pets can increase: • Opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities. • Opportunities for socialization. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Everyone's a winner when it comes to our best friends DONNA BASMAJIAN, Fresno Teachers Asso- ciation — Six-year-old Spencer the Cavalier King Charles spaniel with bedtime reading. JOHN DENT, Santa Barbara Teachers Associa- tion — Cat Reagan and dog Dobbie discuss who gets the issue first. KAREN KEMP, United Teachers of Richmond — Mocha and Snoopy approve of the humans wearing appropriate T-shirts. K U D O S TO W I N N E R S O F O U R P E T S O F C TA CO N T E S T 54

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